President Peter Mutharika has assured Malawians that the recent abduction and murder of a 22-year-old person with albinism, Mcdonald Masambuka of Machinga, and similar unresolved cases will be thoroughly investigated with the speed they deserve.
The President, in a statement signed by presidential press officer and spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani, said all suspects implicated in the said cases will be prosecuted.
In the statement, Mutharika said he learnt with “great shock and sadness” about the news of re-emergence of attacks on persons with albinism in some parts of the country. He said the depressing development is happening at a time government had made tremendous progress in efforts to stop such barbaric acts.
Said the President: “What is more disheartening is that preliminary investigations into the abduction and murder of Masambuka are showing leads to the effect that some wayward police officer and some members of the community in which the late Masambuka was residing, including a member of his immediate family, might have been involved in his abduction and murder.”
However, the President commended police officers for working tirelessly to establish what had befallen the late Masambuka since his disappearance in February this year.
He said: “The investigating officers should continue on this path and no one implicated should be spared. The public should be assured that government will dig deep into Masambuka’s abduction and murder to ensure that all suspects in the matter, regardless of their social status, are swiftly brought to book.”
Masambuka’s body was found on April 1 by police who traced the body following confessions from suspects arrested in connection with the crime.
His murder brought to 22 the number of people with albinism killed in the country since 2014.
In the past four months, at least nine cases of abduction of people with albinism have been reported.
In March, Human Rights Defenders Forum, a local human rights watchdog, accused the Malawi Police Service (MPS) of failing to successfully investigate cases of abductions and killings of people with albinism.
In April 2016, a United Nations independent expert on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ikponwosa Ero, said the attacks on persons with albinism were rendering the people an endangered group facing a risk of systematic extinction over time if nothing is done. n